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Oil falls toward $103 a barrel as Syria risk fades

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil fell for the sixth time in seven days as the catalysts that drove it above $110 earlier this month lose strength.

Meanwhile, pump prices in the U.S. are the lowest since early July, and experts say they're likely headed lower.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was down $1.22, or 1.2 percent, to $103.53 in early afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling close to $103 a barrel in the morning. Oil has dropped 6 percent since closing at a two-year high of $110.53 on Sept. 6.

Analysts said the apparent progress being made in the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons, a seeming thaw in relations between Iran and Western powers and the return to markets of crude from Libya and South Sudan were weighing on oil prices.

In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline fell over the weekend to $3.47. That's the lowest level since July 8, and is 34 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

The price-watching site GasBuddy.com expects the price of gas to fall further as refineries produce ample amounts of fuel while demand remains about where it was a year ago.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was down $1.14, or 1 percent, to $108.08 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $2.63 per gallon.

— Natural gas lost 5 cents to $3.64 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil retreated 4 cents to $2.97 per gallon.


Pablo Gorondi in Budapest and Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.